Habaniro Concept: Kia’s Hyundai Venue, Maruti Vitara Brezza Rival?

Modified On Apr 12, 2019 02:23 PM By Dinesh

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Will reportedly debut on April 17 at the 2019 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS)

  • Habaniro appears to be a subcompact SUV, likely India-bound.
  • Production-spec model might debut in 2020.
  • If it’s a subcompact SUV, it is likely to share its platform and powertrains with the Hyundai Venue.
  • Venue will also have its world debut at the 2019 NYIAS on April 17, along with its India debut.

Hyundai is all set to debut its first-ever subcompact SUV, the Venue, on April 17 at the New York Auto Show. While the South Korean carmaker will be busy showing off its newest product, its subsidiary brand, Kia, will drop curtains off the Habaniro Concept, which we believe could preview Kia’s take on the Hyundai Venue.

The Venue is a sub-4m SUV which will take on the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon, Ford EcoSport and the Mahindra XUV300 when launched in India in May 2019. Put simply, what the Venue is to Hyundai, the Habaniro-based SUV could be for Kia.

Although we will have to wait for the official debut for exact details about the Habaniro concept, a leaked picture reveals how the concept will look in the flesh. The Habaniro concept looks the way you would expect any other concept to look, unique and flashy. However, it appears that it misses out on Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille. Instead, the front fascia is dominated by LED DRLs and silver-coloured trim elements that extend till the sides, covering the lower part of the car.

Pictured: Kia SP Concept

The front profile reminds us of the Kia SP concept, with the long clamshell bonnet and the sleek lights. The production-spec model could feature split headlamps setup like the Hyundai Venue and Kia SP concept-based SUV.

At the sides, the most distinctive elements are the Z-pattern that starts from the front fender and runs till the beginning of the rear wheel arch, and the C-pillar finish in red. Also complementing the concept’s appeal are those huge alloy wheels with red inserts and hidden door handles making the doors look clean. The concept also skips on ORVMs, suggesting that it features video cameras for the purpose.

Overall, while the lower half of the concept looks big and bulky, Kia has taken a streamlined approach with the top half as it features a small glass house area.

Hyundai Venue

Pictured: Hyundai Venue

While other information about the concept remains under wraps, it is rumoured to be an electric concept, and that can’t be ruled out as it misses out the signature tiger-nose grille which can be seen on conventional IC-powered Kia cars. Other indication of the Habaniro being an electric car lies in its name: it is named Habaniro (Niro is Kia’s compact electric SUV) and not Habanero (Habanero is a variety of chilli pepper). Kia might want the word “Niro” to be a part of the name of its alternate energy cars.

The Habaniro in its current form doesn’t look anywhere near production, however, we believe it could spawn a subcompact SUV for Kia. A subcompact SUV is missing from Kia’s global lineup (same as Hyundai) and with the Hyundai Venue set for launch, we can expect Kia to develop its own version of the Venue. The Habaniro might look completely different from the Venue but if it turns out to be a sub-compact SUV, expect it to share its platform, engines and even features with the Venue.

Also Read: Kia Reveals India Plans Ahead Of 2019 Debut

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